SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 22: A South Korean banker carries US dollar bank notes at the Korea Exchange bank on February 22, 2005 in Seoul, South Korea. The South Korean won jumped to its highest intraday level in more than seven years in domestic trade on Tuesday, boosted by strong foreign equity buying and exporter deals. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

How poor are the poor in America? Compared to many parts of the world they would be considered wealthy. But, is the accumulation of material things an adequate description of rich or poor?

A rich person with a lot of stuff, purchased on credit, could be just as poor when it comes to disposable income. But let’s use the Federal Government’s Poverty Guidelines for this exercise.

Federal Poverty Guidelines

Poverty levels are higher in Alaska and Hawaii but let’s stick with the lower 48 states for now. For a single person you are considered poor if your annual income is below $11,670 ($6.00/hr.).

For a family of four it’s $23,850 ($11/hr. or $5.50/hr. per two income earners). What? Two people paid hourly make less than one person working? And they have two additional mouths to feed? No wonder the poor are getting poorer.

Any one at this level of income is able to qualify for a whole bunch of free stuff.

And The Rich Get Richer? How?

If the poor or middle class have little or no money to buy the stuff that the rich, greedy, scummy, deceitful, dishonest, slave driving, low paying, no benefits, CEO’s are selling then how do the rich get richer?

Does that make any sense on any level? — Only if you’re brain dead in my opinion. Money doesn’t care if you are rich or poor. It ignores both. Yet it seeks both.

How to Get Rich

How do the rich get rich? They help someone. They provide products or services that people want and are willing to trade their hard earned money to have.

In Walmart the shelves are full, in Costco the shelves are full, in Target the shelves are full. As are the check out lines and parking lots.

What are the shelves full of? Things that the retailer knows people buy on a regular basis no matter what. No matter the weather, economy, Ebola or ISIS invasion, they are in that check out line with a credit card, food stamp card, or cash.

It is impossible for anyone to accumulate any kind of wealth unless someone buys his or her products or services. And if they aren’t priced right there are plenty of competitors willing to sell those same products for less.

And no one is going to buy those products or services unless there is a benefit to that customer. Money doesn’t just magically leave one bank account and enter another without an okay from the original owner of that money.

And for that to happen there has to be money in that original bank account.

If there is truly income inequality the poor and middle class perpetuate it with their greed for the products and services provided. No one accumulates wealth unless someone else is willing to give up theirs.

Some Final Thoughts

If the poor and middle class are out of funds then who buys the products? There are not enough rich to support each other. The case for income inequality falls apart when we only look at one aspect of wealth. Dollars earned by working.

You may ask what other aspect is there? Government handouts fill the gap and allow the poor and lower middle class to participate in markets they would be shut out of otherwise.

At the same time government works overtime to keep those classes dependent and at low-income levels.

People didn’t have to rely on government in the past because we had freer markets than we do today. Companies didn’t have to move off shore and take jobs with them to be competitive in world markets.

Only one thing changed. Government stepped in to over regulate and restrict the rank and file worker’s ability to earn a living. They artificially manipulate markets far beyond what any Wall Street shyster could do.

The only good news I have for you is that the pendulum always swings back.